COLUMBUS, Ga. — A new interchange on I-185 is coming to south Columbus. The new effort that costs more than $55 million dollars is expected to benefit drivers in a major way.
Representatives with Columbus Plans hosted an open house Tuesday afternoon, about the interchange set to come to the Cusseta and Old Cusseta Roads area. Rick Jones is the Planning Director for the City of Columbus. He explains why this area was selected.
“If you were to look at a map, this area is pretty much closed off from the rest of the world,” says Jones.
He explains how folks living in the area of Cusseta and Old Cusseta Roads are forced to get to I-185 right now.
“The only way you can get to it by interstate is either go down from Victory Drive all the way up to Saint Mary’s Road and otherwise you’s have to wind your way up through the area to get to it,” he says.
Jones adds the south Columbus area was selected to advance its potential for new development.
“This area has been cut off from development opportunities from new housing opportunities especially and we got a lot of good things going on down here now that makes this project worthwhile,” says Jones. “We got the new Spencer High School is getting ready to come on board next year, new roundabout is going to be at Brennan and Cusseta and Fort Benning Road..so we got all this synergy going on and this we think is really going to help this area that much more.” s
Karen Judd is the Communications Specialist for the Georgia Department of Transportation. She says the south Columbus area was selected five years ago.
“Through the TIA referendum in 2012 so citizens actually voted to improve this particular area,” says Judd.
She also says TIA is short for Transportation Investment Act.
“This is what locals might recognize as the TSPLOST– Transportation Special Local Interest Tax,” says Judd.
Representatives say construction on the interchange is expected to begin as early as 2020 and more proposals are expected. They say, among other things, they will be taking a look at suggestions that were made by citizens.
The project is expected to eventually re-locate Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church. Representatives say they are working closely with the church to ensure a smooth transition.